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New COVID cases creep towards 500 as illegal gatherings continue

New COVID cases creep towards 500 as illegal gatherings continue

Ontario is reporting 491 cases of #COVID19 as more than 42,500 tests were completed. Locally, there are 137 new cases in Toronto with 131 in Peel, 58 in Ottawa and 58 in York Region. 63% of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40. There were two deaths recorded overnight. Hospitalizations shot up by 12 to 112 cases. Despite the disturbing rise in cases some members of the public continue to ignore warnings about social distancing. The town of Wasaga Beach has been closed to visitors after Ontario Provincial Police said large crowds at an unsanctioned car rally broke COVID-19 gathering rules. OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said officers are checking ID’s and turning people away who are not residents of the town.

Hundreds of car enthusiasts flocked Wasaga Beach this weekend for a rally featuring vintage and modified cars.

OPP brought additional officers from York and Peel regions to control the crowds. The town also installed bumps in various parking lots to deter drivers. Folz said it was impossible to enforce COVID-19 rules this weekend due to the number of spectators. Police were also out Saturday night with non-lethal guns to contain the gatherings, Folz said. Many tickets were also issued for stunt driving and other traffic violations. The province implemented stricter social gathering limits earlier this month following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

There was a similar scene in Hamilton last week when a crowd estimated at 1,000 took over the Ancaster Power Centre parking lot with an impromptu car rally. Police from several neighbouring municipalities had to be brough in to break up the rally.

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